While Gilad Shalit languishes in an Arab prison, and there are still more veteran Israeli MIA's "somewhere," Israel missed another opportunity to demand his release. This announcement that Israel returned the remains of an Arab terrorist just shows the continued poor judgement of the Israeli Government.
NABLUS, October 8, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli government agreed to return remains of a Palestinian fighter killed in a battle against Israelis in 1976 to his family for proper burial, Saturday said a local rights organization.
The remains of Hafiz Muhammad Abu Zant will be handed over to the Palestinians on Sunday at a Qalqilia checkpoint, north of the West Bank, according to the National Campaign to Recover Bodies of Martyrs...
Israel has kept his body since then in unidentified cemetery in the north of the country and had refused to release it. It is still holding around 350 bodies of Palestinians killed in battles against Israelis over the last 40 years, according to the National Campaign...
Israel still considers the United States to be a friend, even though Jonathan Pollard has been jailed for well over twenty-five years for giving information to an ally, much more than enemy spies get for much more serious security crimes.
Our security is dependent on our relationship with G-d, not pandering to the United States and other foreign powers. We're failing in that important department. Just yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish Year.
Yom Kippur is the Holiday when we feast on prayer, not on food, and our prayers are said in the plural, because we are part of a People a Nation, not just a bunch of individuals. The "Vidu'i," List of Confessions" we recite a number of times during the Yom Kippur Prayers include all sorts of sins that we, personally, may not have sinned. But because the prayer is in the plural, "we," it's for sure that some Jew, some place, must be guilty and we're all in the same boat.
And unlike the storm-tossed boat in which the Biblical Yona, whose book is read as the Haftara during the Mincha, afternoon prayers, it's not possible to pinpoint the guilty and throw him off the boat to save the innocent.
No matter what barriers we put up between ourselves, G-d sees us as one Jewish People, Nation. As I was praying yesterday, still saying the Vidu'i in English*, even though I'm fluent in Hebrew, I was reminded of two things. One was the custom for a number of Jews to divide the Book of Psalms between them to pray for certain things, like health of specific people. Even though we don't sit together and pray, G-d "collects" our prayers and accepts them as the saying of a complete book. Another thought that went through my mind was the story I heard from neighbors, whose infant son died as a result of an Arab terror attack. Yehuda ben Batsheva spent over a week in the hospital after an Arab terrorist threw a heavy stone at his head. Tens of thousands or more people prayed for his full recovery, but to no avail. After his death, the parents were contacted by the parents of another Yehuda ben Batsheva, who had been very ill at the same time. The doctors had been very pessimistic, but miraculously the other boy recovered.
G-d takes our prayers and sorts/files them according to His will. We're all in the same boat and whatever we do affects others.
It worries me that the Israeli Government cares more about an Arab terrorist body than an Israeli soldier or Jew in jail. This endangers us all.
*In the classes I took before the Holy Days with Rabbi Reuven Grodner in Pardes, he said that in order to understand and truly confess, we must say the Vidu'i in a language we understand.